Dragline-mediated mate-searching in Trite Planiceps (Araneae, Salticidae)

Phillip W. Taylor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


Trite planiceps Simon 1899, a common New Zealand jumping spider (Salticidae), lives in the cavities formed by rolled-up leaves of New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax) and similar plants. This study presents evidence that T. planiceps males use cues from females' draglines deposited on the outside of these rolled-up leaves when searching for females hidden from view inside. In choice tests, T. planiceps males preferentially associated with draglines deposited by conspecific females rather than areas lacking draglines. In contrast, females did not discriminate between areas with and without males' draglines and neither males nor females discriminated between areas with and without same-sex conspecifics' draglines. Additionally, T. planiceps males found openings and entered the cavities within rolled-up leaves occupied by females in nature sooner when leaves were tested within 24 hours of collecting (dragline cues deposited on leaves in nature) than after the same leaves had been cleaned and aged for seven days (dragline cues removed). Shorter latency to finding of leaf openings was restored after the same leaves were subsequently occupied by females in the laboratory (dragline cues replaced). The specific cues detected by T. planiceps males are probably pheromones loosely bound to females' draglines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-334
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Arachnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

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